William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice
Speech: Latinas and Their Families in Detention: The Growing Intersection of Immigration Law and Criminal Law
In this article, Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson explores the growing enforcement of immigration law within the interior of the United States and the growing intersection of the criminal justice system and immigration law. Through the use of worksite enforcement sweeps and immigration screening by state and local law enforcement, growing numbers of undocumented persons are being taken into custody by federal immigration officials. She examines the plight of women and families held in detention centers under what are often deplorable conditions. Ironically, immigration detention centers offer fewer resources than those available in most state prisons. The immigration law judicial system also fails to offer immigrants the same due process rights available to defendants in criminal courts. The article also sheds light on the increasingly growing trend for immigrants to be deported only to attempt to re-enter illegally so as to be reunited with their families. Unfortunately, the attempt to re-enter the U.S. is leading to a boom in the numbers of Latinos prosecuted for this federal criminal offense and incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.